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M&S stores in Shropshire avoid the axe – for now

By James Pugh | Telford | Business Picks | Published: | Last Updated:

Shropshire's Marks & Spencer stores in Shrewsbury, Telford and Oswestry have avoided the axe – for now.

M&S stores in Shrewsbury and Telford have not yet been named as one of 100 set for closure by 2022

The retailer plans to close 100 stores by 2022, accelerating a reorganisation that it says is "vital" for the retailer's future.

Of the 100 stores, 21 have already been shut and M&S has now revealed the location of 14 further sites to close.

The closures will affect its clothing and home stores, which have under-performed for several years.

They include Walsall's M&S shop, which is to close after 84 years. More than 90 staff face the loss of their jobs under the move.

Under its plan, M&S wants to move a third of its sales online and plans to have fewer, larger, clothing and homeware stores in better locations.

The latest closures of its clothing and home stores will affect a total of 872 employees.

The move is part of a five-year turnaround plan spearheaded by chairman Archie Norman and chief executive Steve Rowe.

They have been seeking to save costs through store closures and shutting distribution centres as part of a wide-ranging efficiency drive as the company's financial performance deteriorates.

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Sacha Berendji, retail and property director at M&S, said: "We are making good progress with our plans to reshape our store estate to be more relevant to our customers and support our online growth plans.

"Closing stores isn't easy but it is vital for the future of M&S. Where we have closed stores, we are seeing an encouraging number of customers moving to nearby stores and enjoying shopping with us in a better environment, which is why we're continuing to transform our estate with pace."

Bayswater, Fleetwood Outlet in Lancashire and Newton Abbot Outlet in Devon will close by the end of July 2018. Clacton in Essex and Holloway Road will both close by early 2019.

Darlington, East Kilbride, Falkirk, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Northampton, Stockton and Walsall are proposed for closure and will now enter a period of consultation with affected employees.

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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